“Our record breaking run in this year’s Victoria to Maui race was the best race I’ve ever been in. Breaking the 16 year-old record is an amazing achievement. We had a great boat, a great skipper, Jason Rhodes, and a great crew.
We finished in second place on handicap. All of the boats are different, so there is a handicap system to determine the winner. Congratulations to the crew of Kinetic for their handicap win. We just couldn’t get far enough ahead to beat them.
The course record is what we were shooting for and we achieved it. Now everyone in the sailing community will remember our achievement.
An incredible amount of work goes into putting a program like this together. The organization required is similar to the effort I’m used to when we mount a production in Theatre and Film. Preparations and practice are very important.
I have never gone so fast in a sailboat…She just went faster and faster.
I have never gone so fast in a sailboat. We maintained boat speed between 15 and 24 knots day and night. Pushing the Valkyrie very hard for the whole trip, the boat was great. She just went faster and faster.
Many of the boats in the race experienced gear and sail failures; a couple of boats had to retire due to sail and equipment failures. We didn’t break anything and only had two tiny tears on a couple of sails that were easily fixed.
Valkyrie is very well built but exceptionally light. Built entirely out of carbon fibre, every effort was made to reduce weight including no paint down below.
Down below sleeping was difficult because the boat became very warm and damp. Valkyrie pounds over the waves like a powerboat so sleeping was difficult because of the constant noise. We measured the background sound level between 80 and 90 decibels for most of the trip. Standing down below was also very difficult.
I was trimming the spinnaker. Our sails were constantly being trimmed, and changed for over 2000 miles. The off-watch crew sat on a pile of spinnakers. We constantly changed sails to match the conditions.
We were incredibly happy, and smelled just terrible. Salt water and sweat for eight days and only a few baby wipes to wash with. Most of us only changed our clothes one or two times. We all packed very light.